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Woodward and Hain in for top Labour jobs

By Sam Lister

Former Northern Ireland Secretaries Peter Hain and Shaun Woodward were last night confirmed to be among 49 MPs fighting for a shadow cabinet job.

Labour rules mean the 19 top jobs must be voted on during its time in opposition and of those six must go to female candidates.

Although he has no choice over the final team, new leader Ed Miliband has the freedom to allocate the jobs as he sees fit.

That could be to Mr Hain’s advantage as he supported the victor early, securing him key support among his Welsh colleagues.

Former Northern Ireland minister David Hanson is also in the running though he was a key campaigner for David Miliband.

Asked about what position he might end up with, Mr Hain said: “It is really a matter for the leader and in the meantime I have to get elected first.

“There are about 50 candidates so it will be quite a race.

“Some will be putting down a marker to remind the leader they are there, others will be standing a very good chance of being chosen but it will be a bit of a lottery.”

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